Build Your Pwn PC For Dummies
© 2009 Mark Chambers
Both my increasing interest in learning how to work with computer hardware, and my nephew’s desire to build a gaming computer, have led to me watching hours of build videos on YouTube, and scrounging around the internet for helpful resources. Although this book was published in 2009, it has a long history of solid reviews, and I was able to find a used copy which included a working DVD. This beginner’s guide to building a PC first assures reader that it’s not nearly as difficult process as they imagine, and requires minimal tools — usually, just a Phillips-head screwdriver. Because building a PC is an inherently sequential process — beginning with the case and motherboard, and building from there — the book’s organization follows that process. The initial chapters cover the first steps: deciding on what kind of machine to build, finding a case and motherboard that will meet the need, and installing essentials like the power supply, processor, and RAM. Once the hard drive is installed, the author shifts to optional-but-likely add-ins like DVD drives, graphics and sounds cards, and other accessories. The video is divided into similar stages.
Obviously, a book on computer hardware from 2009 is going to be dated at this point, and arguably it was dated upon release given that it includes a chapter on floppy disks, when retail PC builds had stopped carrying units with floppy disk drives at least three years before. (My family purchased a PC in 2004/2005 that had no floppy disk reader, just USB ports and a never-used reader for zip cards. ) Still, storage and data transfer (SATA cables were still nosing into the market here) are the only real age-related weaknesses. The book is designed to be read independent of any other sections, so each starts with the same advice about grounding yourself to prevent any static electricity discharges. The author always uses a joke to introduces these, which gets old quickly if you’re reading it through. The jokes are not as pervasive on the video, but they’re there.
Although certain elements of this are badly dated, the basic process remains current, and I think it would be helpful to someone introducing themselves to the idea of building a PC. Fixing Your Computer: Absolute Beginner’s Guide has more more information on the actual components and what their advertised specs mean, though.